Point of View

Also from Issue 52

  • Hand-controlled 2007 Z51
  • 1961 restoration
  • Market Report: C4
  • Tech: Carbon fiber
  • 1990 Lister Corvette
  • 1958 Lister Corvette
  • 1969 L88 convertible
  • Racing: 24 Hours of Le Mans
  • How-To: C3 trailing arms
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Johnson felt that the stock Z51 sport suspension was up to the task, so he left it in place. However, he did have Loud Pedal lower it two inches using an aftermarket bolt kit—no wonder the wheel/tire package fills out the wheel wells so nicely. The Z51-spec brake calipers also stayed put, but they now clamp an aftermarket set of slotted-and-cross-drilled rotors with Z06 pads.

Body modifications were held to a minimum. They include a pair of Lewis Five Motorsports rear fender flares and a Spectre Werkes GTR rear fascia with a full-length tail spoiler. A taller hood was needed to clear the supercharger. Its carbon-fiber construction lightens the load on the front tires while the generous vents allow engine heat to escape to the atmosphere. The combination of the wide rear tires filling the flares, the hunkered-down stance and the black paint make this one menacing-looking Corvette.

The interior is stock, with the exception of a nitrous bottle in the luggage compartment and some auxiliary A-pillar-mounted gauges. No roll bar is installed, as Johnson wanted he and his wife to enjoy easy ingress and egress, as well as uncompromised interior space during long drives. Yes, this is not merely a Millennium Falcon on wheels, it’s a road-trip weapon. The week before our photo shoot, the couple spent a long day traveling to southern Arizona, just for a hamburger. With lots of steady cruising at 70 mph, the car delivered 22 mpg, impressive as much for the superb mileage as for Johnson’s restraint. He didn’t hammer it like a fiend, and this Corvette loves to be hammered.

When Johnson attended the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, much emphasis was placed on smooth control inputs. After our time behind the wheel, we can assure you that this Corvette is the poster car for smooth inputs. The car’s turn-in response is almost instantaneous, which makes for sharp handling, but it also demands steady hands and the driver’s undivided attention.

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